Razer shows handheld concept gaming PC


— 4:09 PM on January 11, 2011

Imagine our surprise when we walked into Razer's CES booth last week and came across the Switchblade, a concept device designed to offer PC gaming in the palm of your hand. The product strays completely from Razer's realm of gaming peripherals and accessories, and its premise is an interesting one. What if you could take your PC games in your pocket with you?

The Switchblade features an Intel Atom processor and discrete graphics (although Razer wasn't willing to say exactly what GPU it was using). It also has a multi-touch display, a USB port for a mouse, an HDMI output, and a configurable OLED keyboard.

As you can see in the video below, the OLED keys change automatically depending on the game currently running:

Razer told us the device has built-in keyboard presets for certain titles, but users can customize them or even create their own presets.

So, when do these start selling? It's not so simple. Razer explained that this is a concept product, not a prototype, and that public feedback will determine whether it's shipped or not. The Switchblade "may or may not ever see the light of day," said Razer president Robert Krakoff.

If you ask me, one aspect that might be tricky to get right with a device like this is battery life. I don't see a lot of room to store a large battery, and components fast enough to run current PC games require a fair bit of power. Razer told us the devices on the show floor, which were functional hand-built prototypes, ran rather hot. This is still a work in progress, though, of course.

In other Razer-related news, the company revealed that its upcoming motion controller will ship in April. I think I heard Krakoff say a launch coordinated with that of valve's Portal 2 was planned. That sounds about right, considering the videos of the game that were looping on the big screen in Razer's booth.

   
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